Little ones can get a better sense of where their food comes from accompanying Mom and Dad to the bustling City Market’s Farmers’ Market, where more than 140 vendor stalls offer everything from fruits and veggies to fresh-baked sweets and crafts from local artisans. Open Saturdays and Sundays 7 a.m.-3 p.m. year-round and 4-7 p.m. Wednesdays through September, the market often hosts special events and performances. If shopping isn’t quite your kids’ idea of a good time, the City Market also offers opportunities to explore global cuisine, or simply gobble down a treat from Bloom Baking Co. or a powdered sugar-dusted beignet from Beignet.
Travel down the streetcar line and you’ll hit Kansas City Power & Light District, home to the College Basketball Experience (CBE). No need to be an NCAA-caliber baller—interactive exhibits get everyone off the bench and into the game. Try your hand at Beat the Clock, where you try to sink high-pressure shots mirroring some of college basketball’s greatest moments; slam dunk no matter your height or vertical at Throw It Down’s adjustable baskets; or play on the CBE’s full court, complete with six goals. Kids can also gain a historical perspective on the game in the Gallery of Honor of the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame, which pays tribute to legendary coaches and players.
At the end of the streetcar line, you’ll hit Union Station, but it can easily be your first and only stop for a day of family fun. The Kansas City landmark houses the Regnier Extreme Screen Theatre, boasting an 80-by-53 foot screen that plays family-pleasing new releases as well as educational fare about the natural world and history. Or cast your eyes to the skies at the Arvin Gottlieb Planetarium, a 90-foot dome with spectacular public shows and night sky viewing opportunities. Education also takes center stage at Science City, where kids can see science come to life with demonstrations, science shows and hands-on learning opportunities. Cap off the day with a scoop of ice cream, delicious chocolate or other confections from Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory.
Visiting Crown Center doesn’t require a separate ride, just a walk across the street. There you’ll find The Coterie, a nonprofit that stages children’s theatre productions for education and enjoyment. In addition to kid friendly spots like Crayola Café and Kaleidoscope, which lets visitors get creative with leftover materials from Hallmark’s manufacturing process, the Crown Center Complex includes the SEA LIFE Aquarium. Featuring more than 5,000 sea creatures, attractions include an interactive Touchpool Experience, letting guests touch a starfish or hold a crab. The same building is home to LEGOLand Discovery Center, a highly interactive indoor experience where kids 3-10 can hone their building skills with classes from a LEGO Master Model Builder and more.